With shake-ups and shake-downs fast becoming monnaie courante in the online music world, music discovery service Last.fm have shook a leg once again:
launching its on-demand service in the US, UK and Germany immediately, [Last.fm] plans to roll it out globally over the coming months…’the world’s biggest free music service‘.
The service allows anyone to tap into the entire back catalogue of the big four, EMI, Sony BMG, Universal and Warner plus more than 150,000 independents labels. All tracks and albums can be listened to 3 times over until the ‘buy it?’ button cometh.
That’s one angle on Free-and-Legal by a hosted music service. Short ads preceding each song is another broad-shot, as proposed by UK company, We7 for example, who have an interesting angle – every month you can take the ads off 20 songs, and/or pay 20 pence (35 cents) to remove ads from extra tracks. Third party hosting and playable search is another shot, like Seeqpod. Or the new Songza – music streaming/search engine, brainchild of 23 year old Aza Raskin son of Apple Macintosh founder Jef Raskin, which offers independent artists their tracks featured on the site’s recommended page for 24 hours (40,000 unique visitors a day) for 99 cents. They only kicked off last november and already have a library of over 28 million songs! No fee, no subscription.
Then “Free and Legal Music Downloads Have Arrived” announced ReadWriteWeb yesterday (not heard that before), with the launch of Qtrax (set for today – site down as of writing). Touted as the world’s first free and legal P2P file-sharing network that has the full support of the gang-of-four.
The service, Qtrax, boasted it would carry up to 30 million tracks from “all the major labels”.
But Warner, EMI and Universal all say they have not licensed their music. #BBC
There will of course always be illegal ways of finding and downloading music but with countries like France ready to hausse le tone, your average houshold will one day need more alternatives:
International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) said that “tens of billions” of songs were illegally downloaded in 2007, and that the ratio of unlicensed tracks downloaded to legal tracks sold was about 20 to 1.
The trade organization called on Internet service providers (ISPs) to disconnect file-swappers and install filters, and pointed to recent actions along those lines taken by France’s president, Nicholas Sarkozy.
There is only one acceptable moment for ISPs to start taking responsibility for protecting content — and that moment is now. After years of prevarication in the discussion, the French government’s decision to seize the day is deeply refreshing,” said IFPI chairman and CEO John Kennedy. #